Monday, June 27, 2011


Four cyclists are cooking down a back road at 1/3 the speed allowed on a highway. A deer jumps out in front of the head rider. She swerves to avoid the impact. The deer gets smashed by an oncoming truck and flies through the air - "like a helicopter blade" - and finds John. John is hit by a dead, airborne deer that's spinning like gravity doesn't exist.. His frame breaks and his bike causes a pileup. He flies away down a gravel embankment and the deer follows suit, ending up piled against a tree, dead for about 9 seconds already, blood everywhere. John is largely unhurt but not sure if he's alive or dead. It was a high-speed airborne ballet of a violent unwilling hug between two mammals. Imagine.

That's the story I heard from this guy:

who travels by bike around Alabama. He's John.

A little while later, I found Amos. Amos the Amish man. He and his wife Anna and their eight ruggedly gorgeous children were relaxing on the day of the Sabbath. They gave their produce away for free. Amos showed me his farm, his horse-powered, treadmill-like vegetable washer, and his land. His prodigious beard indicated the land; gestured towards the horses, turned back to regard me. I've never felt so lazy. I felt as though I were made of salt, and not just any salt. The salt that God replaced the body of Lot's wife with - that salt. The salt of weakness, distraction, and disobedience. Amos was showing me nothing but strong Amish courtesy, but still. His eight children regarded me, his wife smiled broadly, spoke Dutch to the air. The whole scene was fairly exploding with fertility and clean beauty. Everyone, including me, was barefoot.

I listened to him talk about moderation, the virtues of not frantically or mindlessly moving forward with the pace of the modern world, and ate a cucumber straight out of the earth. Crisp and buttery like a piece of green bread. I thought - what country is this?

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